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Victims of Sandy Hook

Stop the Slaughter of Innocents. Congress is bought and paid for by gun lunatics and gun promotion groups. If you want to live in a safe America, help buy Congress back for America. Send a donation to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 909 Third Avenue, 15th Floor New York, NY 10022

Network Interface Card (NIC)

A Network Interface Card (NIC), sometimes called a "network adapter" or "LAN adapter" is an expansion card that allows a PC to connect to a network. Though there are many different types of networks, PCs almost always use a NIC that interfaces to a wireless network or an Ethernet network.

Network Interface Card (NIC)
NIC with RJ45 connector port to
connect an Ethernet network cable.

Every NIC is identified on the network by a unique 48-bit serial number called a MAC (Media Access Control) address, which is stored in a ROM on the card. The MAC address is unique because NIC manufacturers purchase blocks of addresses from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

In the past, if you wanted a PC to be able connect to a network, you needed to install a NIC. Today, most motherboards have Ethernet network circuitry built into the motherboard. However, if a PC needs multiple network interfaces, for example to have it function as a firewall or gateway.

More Computer Anatomy Articles:
• VIA Chipsets
• The Small Computer System Interface (SCSI)
• 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G Cellular Wireless Standards
• The RS-232 Serial Port
• Power and Your PC
• Digital Video Interface (DVI)
• Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Chipsets
• Video - Introduction to USB
• How Does the CPU Cache Work?
• How Hard Disks Work

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